VANCOUVER, B.C. — Andrew Wilkinson has been elected the new leader of the BC Liberal Party.
Wilkinson, who previously served as Advanced Education Minister under former Premier Christy Clark, was elected party leader last Saturday night at the leadership convention at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel in Downtown Vancouver. The Vancouver-Quilchena MLA, who was the oldest of the six candidates in the running to replace Clark, edged out former Surrey Mayor and federal Conservative MP Dianne Watts on the fifth ballot with roughly 53 percent of the vote.
Watts was the front-runner in the race all evening long, winning the first four ballots by successively smaller margins. Wilkinson ended up finishing third in the first three rounds of voting which saw candidates Sam Sullivan, Mike de Jong, and Todd Stone eliminated. Wilkinson edged out rookie MLA Michael Lee, who came second in the first three rounds, by just 30 votes in Round Four to advance to the final showdown against Watts.
Approximately 60,000 members of the party voted in the leadership vote, which opened last Thursday.